Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix announces series of changes to track configuration and race schedule

The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix announced a series of changes to its proposed track configuration and race schedule, incorporating feedback received during months of dialogue with residents, elected officials, faith leaders, local businesses, and scientific experts.

Notably, the new Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix track configuration eliminates the use of Northwest 199th Street for a portion of the racetrack, and the weekend race schedule will be altered to ensure that there is no racing prior to 3pm on Friday of race weekend in order to ensure that there isn’t any disruption to local schools. 

Several meetings took place over a period of months, many of which were convened by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.  Meetings included Formula 1 officials, Hard Rock Stadium CEO Tom Garfinkel, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver G. Gilbert III, Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, local homeowner groups, faith leaders and members of the community.  Stadium and Formula 1 officials provided substantial scientific evidence proving that there are no credible health threats to local residents caused by the racing. However, a primary concern voiced by residents related to the use of a stretch of Northwest 199th Street for a portion of the racetrack and the disruption it would cause to local traffic on 199th Street. After hearing the concerns, Hard Rock Stadium and Formula 1 directed a team of track design engineers to reconfigure the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix track to eliminate the use of Northwest 199th Street for racing. 

Another concern related to potential disruption to local schools if the track were used during school hours on Friday of race weekend. As a result, Formula 1 and the stadium committed to alter the race schedule; moving practice times to after 3pm on Friday afternoon.

A map of the new track was released on Tuesday.  The new configuration provides a world-class racing circuit focused on Stadium grounds – eliminating the use of Northwest 199th street for a portion of the racetrack. 

“The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix is another example of a world-class event coming to our region.  Like the Super Bowl, an event like this provides a unique opportunity to proudly showcase our region to the world,” said Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO.  “We want these events to benefit everyone in the region, including local Miami Gardens residents, and we look forward to working with Superintendent Carvalho, Dr. Steve Gallon, and the District to bring innovative STEM programming to local students, such as ‘Formula 1 in Schools,’ a global engineering competition.”

In addition, race organizers will be launching a small business vendor program, which will identify qualified, local, and diverse small businesses to provide goods and services in connection with the Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix.

Tuesday’s announcement comes ahead of Wednesday’s Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners meeting, where the Commission will vote on a measure, put forth by Commissioner Barbara Jordan, which attempts to revoke Hard Rock Stadium’s current zoning rights in an effort to prevent Formula 1 racing.  The Stadium’s current zoning designation permits auto racing and was previously granted by both the City of Miami Gardens and Miami Dade County.